CPR Responds to Council Passing Police Reporting Legislation, Int. 119-D
In response to the City Council passing reporting legislation on police abuses of civilians, Int. 119-D, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from spokesperson Mark Winston-Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center.
“More reporting on NYPD abuses is needed, but we have serious concerns about clauses of this legislation (including sections f and g) potentially giving the NYPD cover to withhold even more information from the NYPD inspector general and public. While not the Council’s intent, the de Blasio administration’s backwards reinterpretation of state law 50-a and the NYPD’s historical opposition to transparency provides a significant basis for such concerns, and we urge the de Blasio administration and NYPD not to misuse this law for such purposes. NYPD Inspector General Phil Eure should use the full subpoena powers of his office to ensure it receives full information from the NYPD, if necessary. It is also disappointing that this legislation failed to specify sexual harassment and assault against civilians as misconduct to be tracked and reported. The trend of police reporting bills during this Council omitting the race, gender, age and other demographics of victims, as this bill continues, is a serious problem that hampers the ability to fully understand the depth of likely racial and other discriminatory disparities in who is impacted by police abuses. Regardless of the limitations of the legislation, we call on DOI Commissioner Peters and NYPD Inspector General Phil Eure to ensure that IG reports analyze and publicly report on sexual harassment and discriminatory disparities impacting particular communities and neighborhoods as they comply with this legislation.
“The NYPD is already not complying with new use-of-force reporting laws passed by the Council last summer (Introductions 539 and 606) without any consequence. Specifically, the department has blown by the July 31 deadline for second quarter 2017 use-of-force incident reports and reporting on the ‘basis for encounter’ information of those incidents. The NYPD also skipped the May 1 deadline for reporting on incidents of excessive force, broken down by the force category, precinct, whether officer was on duty, and disposition of any departmental charges brought against the officer.
“Reporting is important – if comprehensive and complied with – but it cannot resolve the transparency and accountability issues in police interactions that perpetuate police abuses that the Right to Know Act would directly address. The delay in passing the Right to Know Act is an affront to the rights of New Yorkers and communities across this city demanding it, and it’s time for the Council to take action on it.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.
CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.